Prisoners Training Dogs For The Disabled

Extracted from a document sent by Michaela Edridge.

In the USA, the introduction of pets into a couple of state prisons has proved to be a remarkably successful venture. The most noteworthy is the scheme set up at the Purdy Treatment Centre for Women, Gig Harbour, Washington. It was established with the help of Kathy Quinn now Sister Pauline (e-mail, who is promoting this idea at other correctional institutions, and the object was for inmates to train dogs to aid disabled people. Warders and governors were wary at first, but the scheme has been successful in every way. The self-esteem of prisoners has increased dramatically and they now feel that they have a link with the outside world, as well as being able to do something worthwhile with their time; many of those involved go on to work with animals on leaving the prison, and the relationships between inmates and staff has improved greatly.

- Michaela Edridge, 267 Hillbury Road, Warlingham, Surrey CR3 9TL.

- Lesley Scott-Ordish, PRO Dogs, Rocky Bank, 4 New Road, Ditton, Maidstone, Kent ME20 7AD (tel 01732 848499).

- Society for Companion Animal Studies, c/o Anne Docherty, The Mews Cottage, 7 Botanic Crescent Lane, Glasgow
G20 8AA (tel 0141 9452088).

Return to the Prison Pet Partnership Program page.

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